On top of releasing Windows Vista SP1 to a broad set of beta testers last week, the Windows Server Division also released Release Candidate 0 of Windows Server 2008. I used to work for a local ISP a few years ago and managed their Windows Server boxes running Windows Server 2003. I acquired skills in Active Directory management and IIS management – although very basic. I really wanted to try out the changes in IIS7 as well as changes coming to Active Directory in Windows Server 2008. I decided to fire up Windows Server 2008 RC0 in Virtual PC 2007.
Windows Server 2008 in Virtual PC shows up on my home network as if it were an actual PC – with a real IP address and all.
I haven’t gotten around to testing Windows Server 2008 RC0 as a domain controller just yet. It currently sits on my home network serving as a web server (when fired up in Virtual PC). I used IIS7 to configure the server for “standard web hosting” – testing out using Microsoft Expression Web to create web pages and automatically publish to the Windows Server 2008 web server. I also tested out FTP using the SmartFTP client (which looks like its Certified for Windows Vista too). Eventually I want to try setting up SharePoint and trying it out on IIS7.
While I don’t manage any servers any longer – I do want to try and keep up with changes in Windows Server and of course do geeky “experiments” with new stuff. Virtual PC helps me do that – especially running on Windows Vista. I do a lot of testing this way. I have several Windows Vista Virtual Machines set up for testing so I don’t have to mess up my main PC with all the betas I’m running. If you want to do a lot of testing but don’t want to mess up your PC’s – this is the way to go.
If you’re interested in giving Windows Server 2008 RC0 a try, sign up for the Community Technology Preview.